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FORUMS General Discussions Politics The Battle over the Civil War: Does It Have Political Implications for Today
TOPIC: The Battle over the Civil War: Does It Have Political Implications for Today
Created by: sappholovers
Original Starting post for this thread:
Posters have been debating the origins and causes of the Civil War in various threads, and I thought it would be best to locate that debate within one thread, and I propose it be this one appropriately titled.

For me the issues that led to the Civil War between North and South resonate still with key issues in contemporary politics, especially as we see that Red States and Blue States east of the Mississippi are essentially split along the lines of North vs. South, Blue vs. Grey, with the border states now the swing states or purple states.

In my next two posts, I will make a chain of connections between the origins of the Civil War and today's politics. My main argument will be that black freedom movements--struggles for freedom on behalf of enslaved and segregated blacks--have been crucial for making the USA more free, more equal, and more just...with more social mobility and economic opportunity for all. Alas, counter-movements have also arisen to prevent or slow down or repress those freedom movements against slavery and segregation, and the USA is still in conflict about the power of the federal government to devise policies, such as Affirmative Action, to overcome the legacy of racism and White Supremacy.

I will start with the origins and causes of the Civil War.

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Lucky:

There are other signs I would use to tell that we are in a country where racism no longer exists than the election of Obama. The voting for Obama reveals that, in many ways, there has been much success in overcoming racism, but exit polls inquiring about whether race influenced or affected decision reveals that for significant amount of people race was a factor.

When Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are no longer receiving complaints and cases, I'd be more inclined to say it's the time to do away with Affirmative Action. The USA is making progress in overcoming racism and the legacy of segregation, but we are not there yet.

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At some point, when racism is a small factor in American life, I say do away with Affirmative Action: it's served its purpose. So if Obama is elected Afirmative action would no longer be legitamate? When are we gonna trust people? To hire people for their experience, and work ethics?

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DecemberandMarch.

Interesting post.

First, let me note. I've twice applied for significant jobs where I came in 2nd and was told, I was the best person, but they had to go with a minority of a woman. I've experienced that "discrimination." But I've also seen the very positive changes that Affirmative Action has made in my profession, opening it up to people and transforming it in interesting, beautiful, helpful ways. I can see the plusses and minuses of Affirmative Action first hand.

Second, I will say that there is no more compelling case for me for the dangers of Affirmative Action than the appointment of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. He was a mediocre judge, but to replace Thurgood Marshall, they needed a black, and GHW Bush found, I guess, the best conservative black judge he could find, but he would not be in the top 100-150 of the best qualified people for the Supreme Court if the judgment was done regardless of race. But Colin Powell said he benefitted from Affirmative Action, and he is for it.

Affirmative Action made much more sense in the 1970s than it does in the year 2008, and you would need to have lived in the early 1970s to understand the significance and need of Affirmative Action then. But now it has to be re-examined. Have we gotten far enough beyond racism to eliminate Affirmative Action. In some ways yes, in some ways no. We need to correct for racism and injustice, but then at some point we also need to correct for countering racism with the 'justice' or 'discrimination' or "affirmative action' of affirmative action. It's something that is needed still in places, and it is something that is not necessary in other places.

Many legal scholars and moral philosophers have given thought and reflection to Affirmative Action, and they are not all in agreement, and neither are Supreme Court justices. For me, it is not right vs. wrong but one right, or one value (equality) versus another right or value (the justice of overcoming discrimination).

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It's the unintentional consequences that we need to protect ourselves from. Affirmative Action - right or wrong - is discrimination. Right in that it reversed past discrimination and wrong because it provides another without proper qualifications to advance. (Mind you, I did not mention ethnicity.)

True to your comments: It is complex. And discrimination/racism has not been eradicated. Nonetheless, if we are to profess against discrimination, it should be for all. However, we do not live in a colorless society but it is manifesting into a multi-ethnic society. Meaning: we live in a melting pot of different cultures and we're cultivating new mixed generations. Yet in our current environment, we want to continue to make clear distinction of cultures - which includes black/white individuals adopting to the black culture. Black/Hispanic individuals adopting the Hispanic culture. Asian/white individuals adopting to the Anglo culture, etc...

The point of all of this is that we need to somehow bring in the reins of sanctioned discrimination.

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decemberandmarch:

Affirmative Action is such a tricky, complex issue, and I see right and good arguments and justice on both sides.

Here's why I see Affirmative Action as legitimate and lawful and Constitutional in 2008.

Consider John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama applying for a job. From what I've seen in poll results, some people are letting race affect their judgment and their votes are affected by race, or some people say they will not vote for a woman or a black man as president (with these thoughts more prevalent in some places than others). What do you do if you know in a profession or a hiring decision, some people will not hire (or vote for) a woman or a black person, even thought they have the same qualification as the white male candidate?

Racism is not a thing of the past, and I think it is just to make correctionss to try to ovecome effects of racism, and this was particularly true back in 1970s when Affirmative Action was first passed during Nixon's presidency.

At some point, when racism is a small factor in American life, I say do away with Affirmative Action: it's served its purpose.

For me, Affirmative Actions pits two rights against each other. On the one hand, we should all be judged equally on the content of our character. But because of racism and segregation, great injustice had been done to minorities in America, and it was compensatory justice to make special efforts to overcome that injustice.

Studies show that a person applying in paper with a black name (or Islamic name) for the same job with equivalent qualifications will not get the same opportunity as someone applying for the job as a white male with a name like Bob Dole or Bill Clinton. Barack Hussein Obama's name will evoke prejudice, as will the name Cesar Chavez, over Bob Dole in various parts of this country, if we don't associate those names with people but just go by the name.

Affirmative Action is a way to correct for prejudice, but it can be abused, and I'm against any quota system.

For 170 years, the USA had Affirmative Action for white males. To correct for the injustices done, it is justice, in my view, to create Affirmative Action for minorities and women.

Again, it's a tricky issue, MLK Jr was for compensatory justice, or what we now call Affirmative Action, also he is also famous for saying we must be judged on the content of our character. Affirmative Action does take race and gender into consideration, but so does racism, which it is trying to counter.

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Sapp - I am a real minority: Latino (New York Puerto Rican), Republican and against Affirmative Action. I will not call you any of those names. You've stated many issues here but I will try to generalize my comments.

As I recall in reading passages during the civil rights movement, many of those who challenged the constitutionality of the law did it because of its far-reaching application. Meaning: reverse discrimination. Affirmative Action in the 1980 -1990's did just that. Affirmative Action is sanctioned discrimination against whites. They, during the civil rights era, were concerned about giving away "unearned benefits" - what we call now entitlements. This problem has now manifested itself and we now have welfare as it was never intended to be.

This is not to say that the civil rights movement were all negative. The movement made it possible for many minorities to achieve goals that were once unattainable. We must admit though that there were unintentional consequences of laws written favoring minorities over whites. In this context, the laws were written with Black Americans in mind. Asians (Chinese) and Hispanics were another matter.

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8. In the early 1960s, JFK and LBJ decided, under pressure from MLK Jr., to end legal White Supremacy. Civil Rights legislation was passed, and the modern Conservative movement was born: Goldwater, Reagan, and GHW Bush all voiced opposition in 1964 to the Civil Rights legislation. The Conservative movement inherited the Southern State's distrust of big government, or Washington, and wanted more State's Rights, as State's rights would have allowed segregation.

9. GOP Presidential candidates began a bad habit of appealing to anti-black racial prejudice to win votes in the South and Ken Mehlman, head of the GOP in 2005, apologized in that year in a speech before the NAACP for the tactics and practices of the GOP Southern strategy. Race became a wedge issue, and Red States and Blue states began to form along the lines of the Blue-Grey division. Many Southern Democrats, upset at their party for advancing Civil Rights legislation, fled to the Republican party, with Strom Thurmond leading the exodus.

10. White males in the South are voting in a lower percentage for Obama than in the North.

11. Southern political opposition to programs to advance equality and freedom to African Americans has been a feature of American politics since the origins of the country, and we can still see it to some degree in opposition to programs such as Affirmative Action, which strive to overcome past injustice by creating more equal opportunity for minorities and women.

12. LBJ said the South would be lost to the Democratic party for a generation thanks to Democratic leadership in the presidency for passing Civil Rights legislation. LBJ was wrong: It's been lost for more than a generation.

14. Red State opposition to big government and Washinton mirrors in many ways Southern--or Confederate--opposition to the federal governmetn and Washington in the Civil War era.

15. The above arguments, grounded in fact, will provoke some to call me a race-baiter, a biased liberal intellectual, or a Maroon, and to insult my intelligence and sexuality.

16. Such insults will reveal the closed-mindedness of those who so insult me.

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My chain of connections linking battle over slavery to contemporary politics in the USA:

1. The Civil War, first and foremost, was a moral, political and economic conflict over slavery in its origins and causes.

2. The roots of this CW conflict over slavery can be traced back at least as far as the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when Northern and Southern representatives to the Convention split over slavery. The conflict was resolved by the Great Compromise, in which slavery was sanctioned, but the slave trade was to be ended by the early 1800, and the South got to count blacks as part of their population (and at 3/5's of a man) for the purposes of representation.

3. The abolition movement, with its moral and religious critique of slavery, reignited conflict in the 1830s between North and South over slavery.

4. Lincoln's election was a key catalyst to the South's secession as Lincoln, as the South knew, was personally opposed to slavery and politically oppsed to its expansion into new states.

5. Jefferson Davis and the South saw in Lincoln's election the beginning of the end of slavery and a balance of power between North and South, as he feared new states coming in as free states, tilting power to the North, which would use that power to end slavery everywhere.

6. Lincoln's political intent as President was to hold the Union together, upholding the Constitution. The Constitution sanctioned slavery in the slave states, and Lincoln did not call to emancipate the slaves, as he wanted to bring the States back into the Union, and he would have accepted that. But in the middle of the wa, as he saw that the South has no interest in returning to the Union, the war became for him a war to end slavery, with Emancipation declared in 1863.

7. The South did not accept defeat too well or accept legal equality for black men, as guaranteed by the 13th and 14 amendments. In the post-Civil War era, Southern States imposed and legalized segregation or the Jim Crow laws.

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Posters have been debating the origins and causes of the Civil War in various threads, and I thought it would be best to locate that debate within one thread, and I propose it be this one appropriately titled.

For me the issues that led to the Civil War between North and South resonate still with key issues in contemporary politics, especially as we see that Red States and Blue States east of the Mississippi are essentially split along the lines of North vs. South, Blue vs. Grey, with the border states now the swing states or purple states.

In my next two posts, I will make a chain of connections between the origins of the Civil War and today's politics. My main argument will be that black freedom movements--struggles for freedom on behalf of enslaved and segregated blacks--have been crucial for making the USA more free, more equal, and more just...with more social mobility and economic opportunity for all. Alas, counter-movements have also arisen to prevent or slow down or repress those freedom movements against slavery and segregation, and the USA is still in conflict about the power of the federal government to devise policies, such as Affirmative Action, to overcome the legacy of racism and White Supremacy.

I will start with the origins and causes of the Civil War.

Los Angeles CA
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(4376 posts)
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TOPIC: The Battle over the Civil War: Does It Have Political Implications for Today